I found a book that my mother had for awhile. Apparently, I didn't know she had it or else I would have had it out as a resource. I cannot find a printing date on it, though the information seems applicable. It is "AGING PARENTS AND COMMON SENSE - A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR YOU AND YOUR PARENT". It was put together through the Equitable Foundation Inc (the philanthropic part of The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States) and Children of Aging Parents or CAPS. I could not really find much information from The Equitable website & the CAPS website had some info, the last newsletter was from 2008 so I called the phone number to see if they were still around -- they are. The book covers a variety of issues - talking to your parents, where will they live, legal issues, taking care of yourself as a caregiver, etc.
One thing that the book covers, reminded me of my visits to the ER with mom. During the initial in-take of information, the nurses and doctors always asked her if anyone was abusing her either physically or emotionally. If she went home the same day, would she be scared to be with someone at home? Which brings us to the problem of elder abuse, which is as it sounds - mistreating an elderly person. This book defines it as: 'assault, threats of assault, verbal abuse, financial exploitation, physical and/or emotional neglect, or sexual abuse' and says usually the abuse from the caretaker rises as the older person's condition worsens. Usually it is unreported due to the elderly parent/person being ashamed, unable to say anything, or fearful that the abuse may get worse if it is reported.
The book reports that The National Center on Elder Abuse lists some indications of abuse as (the website has a some of these):
* burns, bruises or cuts
* dehydration, or malnourished appearance
* anxiety, confusion, withdrawal
* expression of shame, embarrassment or fear
* poor personal hygiene
* over-medication or over-sedation
* sudden bank account withdrawals or closing
If you see anything like this with someone, please contact your local social service agency.
From caretaker abuse to self-abuse:
Alcohol abuse is seen sometimes as old-age complaints -- it can show itself as tremors, gastritis, confusion, hypertension, depression. The book goes on to describe other indicators as:
* burns on hands and extremities from cooking
* evidence of repeated falls
* other unexplained accidents
* fear or avoidance of doctors and dentists
* paranoid behavior
* mood swings
* preference for isolation, secretiveness
* inability to remember particular periods of time (blackouts)
The book identifies The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention as mentioning the following 'cautions': (I tried to find these on the website but there were so many different reports that this may be a compilation of them)
* age-related stress such as bereavement, unemployment, a move to a new place; keep in mind with aging comes a change in metabolism so they are more susceptible to alcohol's affects
* there can be an interaction between alcohol and both prescription and over-the-counter medication; have a frank talk with the doctor and/or pharmacist.
* try to lesson the loneliness, isolation and depression - keep them involved in family, spiritual, and community affairs; it may be possible for them to volunteer in some programs to increase their self-worth and self-esteem. My mom belonged to a senior group that met every week and had day trips; she was still pretty good in speaking Portuguese so a pre-school teacher I know had her come in her class to work with a student new to the area who spoke no English, to help translate and learn English. They formed a great bond and 'Miss Lucy' always looked forward to going to be with the kids.
Alcoholism can be beat but you probably need outside help. Talk to his/her doctor for the best treatment.
Depression is big among the elderly. Aging is usually not the cause but ailments of the elderly can be. These could be:
*chronic pain, disability, dependence, isolation, fear
* some medications like steroids and meds for the treatment of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes
* loss of peers or loved ones which may cause a long mourning time
* keeping any fear and /or negative feelings inside.
This too can be treated with their doctor's help. There may be a good counselling service nearby or maybe your parent can speak with their spiritual leader. Sometimes just time helps. Either way - best to get to the bottom of things before conditions worsen.
May - National Stroke Awareness Month
National Stroke Awareness Month is May. There are approximately 795,000 strokes per year. There are symptoms to look for and if people act quickly, you can save lives and limit disabilities. The National Stroke Association recommends learning the FAST technique to identify the potential signs of a stroke. F = FACE: ASK THE PERSON TO SMILE. DOES ONE SIDE OF THE FACE DROOP? A = ARMS: ASK THE PERSON TO RAISE BOTH ARMS. DOES ONE ARM DRIFT DOWNWARD? S = SPEECH: ASK THE PERSON TO REPEAT A SIMPLE SENTENCE. DOES THE SPEECH SOUND SLURRED OR STRANGE? T = TIME: IF YOU OBSERVE ANY OF THESE SIGNS (INDEPENDENTLY OR TOGETHER), CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.
May - 5/2 is National Day of Prayer, 5/12 is Mother's Day, 5/18 is Armed Forces Day, 5/27 is Memorial Day.
Off-the-beaten-path days (a few from www.holidayinsights.com ) - you can see others on their website: 5/1 is Mother Goose Day, 5/3 is Lumpy Rug Day, 5/5 is Cinco de Mayo, 5/6 is National Nurses Day, 5/8 is School Nurse Day, 5/11 is Twilight Zone Day, 5/13 is Leprechaun Day, 5/14 is Dance Like a Chicken Day, 5/17 is National Bike to Work Day, 5/24 is National Escargot Day.
There is a panel started by 'Caring.com' that will allow people to sign up and test products and review them and possibly have your remarks published. According to the site, you then get to keep the item. Please check out the recruitment questionaire.
One review that I found was for Presto Computerless E-mail. This device will allow people to send emails, photos, and other attachments to those who might not be tech savvy WITHOUT them needing a computer or internet access. You can check out the reviews both pro and con.
You May Be Able to Get Paid As A Caregiver.
Something I did not know: From 'Caring.com' check this out.
If you're one of more than 70 million people who provide unpaid caregiving for a family member or friend -- either in that person's home or in your own -- you know that the time and energy burden can be enormous. In fact, you may have cut back or given up your paying job. Your smaller (or now nonexistent) paycheck may be pinching you hard. If so, it might be possible for you to get a small but regular payment for your caregiving work.
Here's how: If the parent, spouse, or other person you're caring for is eligible for Medicaid, its Cash and Counseling program, available in some states, can provide direct payments that could go to you. A few other states have similar programs for low-income seniors, even if the person receiving care doesn't quite qualify for Medicaid. Also, if the person you're caring for has long-term care insurance that includes in-home care coverage, in some cases those benefits can be used to pay you. If the person you're caring for will be paying you from any source, it may be a good idea -- for both of you -- to draft a short written contract setting out the terms of your work and payment.
I came across this short movie about Zachery, the oldest son of one of my cousins, who is now in his early 20's. He was diagnosed with epilepsy before the age of 1, starting with seizures around the time he was 6 weeks old. My cousin, Lee Ann - his mom, has been an extremely strong mom, trying to find every possible cure or possible treatment to alliviate his condition. His constant seizures have left him developmentally disabled. Lee Ann has been a big promoter for 'CURE' (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy), being on the Board of Directors as well as Vice President and Secretary.
Lee Ann has chosen to share Zach's story, hoping it may help others out there. As we have attended her past fundraisers, we have been introduced to other families who have children with this severe form of epilepsy and marvel at their strength, faith, conviction, determination, and of course love. The families have bonded as they continue to search out ways for their children to overcome this disease and hope to carry on a more normal life. I know Lee Ann carries on with her other 2 children making sure they lead their lives, their way, enjoying their own social events, and following their paths into adulthood. She has told me she has wonderful help beyond her family, who love Zach and care for him immensely.
I hope you take the time to watch the full video. I think it is as much about determination and strength as it is about showing us what a debilitating disease epilepsy is. We can only hope for a cure in the near future or some treatment to help those afflicted to gain some control over their life.
Zach's Story . ( a video)
Will & Mom
I was going through some things when considering writing on nursing homes and came across this picture. Willie was able to walk the stage with his peers last June - he'll get his diploma when he leaves in December. Mom was not able to go (this was about a month before she died) but my in-laws were there at the graduation. So we decided to get this picture so Will could have his graduation pictures with his grandparents on both sides. She was Ok this day (she knew what we were doing) and was so proud to see Will in his cap & gown.
Alzheimer's (7) assisted living (2) autism (2) autistic (1) Caregiver (4) caregivers (3) caregiving (1) caring for parents (1) communication (2) CT (1) dementia. (3) developmental delays (1) developmentally disabled (2) dialysis (1) disabilities (1) disabled (3) elder abuse (2) elder care (1) elderly (12) elderly parents (13) facility (1) financial (1) hospice (1) IDEA (1) IEP. (1) iPad (2) jobs for disabled young adults (1) Medicaid (5) medical information (2) Medicare (4) memorials (1) memory (1) Memory and Aging (1) mental status in elderly (1) MRI (1) nursing home (2) Nursing homes (1) Parkinsons (1) PET (1) presecriptions (1) screening (1) special needs (2) SSI (2) Transition (4) VNA (1) Will (2) work from home (1)
National Resources. (Not promoting, talk to your professional first)
- American Foundation for the Blind
- Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association: ADDA
- Autism Research Institute: ARI
- Autism Society of America
- Center for Mental Health Services
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: CHADD National Office
- Health Central
- Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations:JCAHO
- Mayo Clinic
- National Health Information Center
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Institutes of Health
- National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Needy Meds
- Online Aspergers Syndrome Information& Support
- Pain Management
- Partners for Prescription Assistance
- Patient Assistance Programs
- Prescription Assistance Programs
- Search & Respond c/o Exceptional Parent Magazine
- US Department of Education